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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Project365 day 031





Project365 day 031

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


My sunglasses broke and it's too sunny, dammit! :D



Man, it's absolutely gorgeous out today!

STATE OF THE EMPIRE 2007 with quips! Pt 4

HERE WE GO! Part 4 of the State of the Empire 2007 speech with quips!!

WAHOOOO!!

Here is our illustrious leader, once again!

When laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country. To secure our border, we are doubling the size of the Border Patrol – and funding new infrastructure and technology.


Because clearly, a secure border stops terror attacks inside the US.

Oh wait. We haven't a secure border in all of American history, yet we've suffered a surprisingly few number of terror attacks.

Hm, it must be that secure borders don't mean shit.

Yet even with all these steps, we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off the border – and that requires a temporary worker program.


So, no talk of the real reason for illegal immigration?

See, the deal is simple: American businesses can't afford to pay American workers what they need to survive. But "illegals" don't need as much money as Americans do, apparently.

It's not that Americans won't do the jobs, it's that they won't do them for the pay offered. Why can't they be offered the wages they need? Because businesses can't make (as much of) a profit if they paid enough to Americans. Why will paying more cut into there profits so much? The US dollar is weak. Why is that?

It's because, contrary to what Bush says, our economy is NOT strong and, in fact, grows weaker by the day.

Ever notice how inflation slows but never reverses?

Yeah, that's bad and no one ever talks about it, probably so we all end up the frog in the pot of water being brought to a slow boil.

We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis.


If only they had one of these back in the slavery days!

That is what this stuff most reminds me of, btw, slavery. Hell, if we had something that organized foreign workers to come in and perform menial tasks back in the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, we might still have slavery today!

COOL!

/sarcasm

As a result, they won’t have to try to sneak in – and that will leave border agents free to chase down drug smugglers, and criminals, and terrorists.


Ummm... I don't think they're too busy with stopping illegals that they can't stop more serious criminals. If so, they're still missing a LOT of illegals coming in since, somehow, illegals make up a lot of our economy.

We will enforce our immigration laws at the worksite, and give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers – so there is no excuse left for violating the law.


Oh, COME ON, GEORGE! Isn't there always an excuse to violate the law?

You of all people should know that!

Even if there had been WMD in Iraq, unless Saddam used them on us or one of our allies, the Iraq attack would still have been illegal!

We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals.


And then cordons them off in ghettos and exploits them for cheap(er) labor allowing only those who are willing to play the class-superiority game to advance to higher class-levels.

Seriously.

Have a look at American society from the beginning. There have always been the poor and the rich. Only in the 1900s did there grow a strong middle-class and now many people believe it's dying out.

And we need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country – without animosity and without amnesty.


Awww! Isn't that cute? He alliterated!!

Convictions run deep in this Capitol


WHAT???

o_O

CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS??

CONVICTIONS OF ANY KIND?

Now I know you're lying to us!

when it comes to immigration.


Naw, I think it's just that no lobbyist has been able to afford to buy every single politician off. That's a lot of campaign "donations."

Let us have a serious, civil, and conclusive debate – so that you can pass, and I can sign, comprehensive immigration reform into law.


It's easy to wish for the impossible when you believe God speaks to you!

Extending hope and opportunity depends on a stable supply of energy that keeps America’s economy running and America’s environment clean.


Uh-oh, he's just mentioned the environment. Time to start talking about OIL. Now, I've heard he wants us to limit how much gas we use in our cars--but that's a little bit like the best friend of a cocaine dealer saying "hey, don't snort so much."

He's got to have an ulterior motive or is just lying to make you feel good--maybe that's his ulterior motive.

Why don't I believe in his intentions to help get us off foreign oil?

Two words: hydrogen cars.

No, I will never let them drop. He promised us our kids would be driving them and I just bet he won't even mention hydrogen in the rest of his speech. Let's find out!

For too long our Nation has been dependent on foreign oil.


Due, almost completely, to the fact that no alternatives were ever developed by big business. Small business can't just wish an alternative energy system into existence. It takes big bucks that only big corporations can afford.

But please, kind King, pray continue...

And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists – who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments ... raise the price of oil ... and do great harm to our economy.


Too bad we have a HUGE chunk of our economy wrapped up in oil. Ever hear of petrodollars, George? A [wiki: petrodollar], put simply, is a dollar used to buy oil. For ages OPEC members (countries that produce oil) had signed an agreement to only use US dollars to trade oil. As in, anyone wanting to buy oil from an OPEC nation had to do it with US dollars. Hence the nickname petrodollars. Now think about how much oil is bought around the world.

Yeah, that's a LOT of US dollars. Now imagine if alternative technology was developed.

Yeah, that HUGE amount of US dollars would stop being bought around the world causing our currency to drop in value, thus, ruining our economy. This is the real reason we'll never get off oil (and I mean never).

It is in our vital interest to diversify America’s energy supply


Actually, it's the exact opposite. But go ahead and continue lying to us.

– and the way forward is through technology. We must continue changing the way America generates electric power – by even greater use of clean coal technology ... solar and wind energy ... and clean, safe nuclear power.


Ah, there it is! Even if the US dollar is worthless, Bush will have so many of them it won't matter. Why will he have so many? Because he's in the back pocket of the nuke energy interests almost as much as he is in the back pocket of big oil and big weapons. Or maybe he'll accept campaign "donations" in euros.

We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol – using everything from wood chips, to grasses, to agricultural wastes.


WHAT ABOUT SWITCH GRASS???

We have made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies in Washington and the strong response of the market.


And that global warming thing.

Now even more dramatic advances are within reach. Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we have done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next ten years


OOOOOOOO!!

DO WE DARE!?!?

20 whole percent!! WOW! That will allow the effects of global warming to be 20 percent weaker!

But our planet's climate will continue to change dramatically, anyway.

I mean, seriously--20 percent less of a blizzard in the UK is still going to be 80 percent more than what they're used to.

– thereby cutting our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East.


Of course, we still import from Venezuela and Africa. :)

To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory Fuels Standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 –


How many gallons of sunlight will be needed?

How many gallons of wind power?

Why do I think you haven't really done your research?

this is nearly five times the current target.


Which must be pretty damn low since he's bragging about his target being so much higher.

At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks


I thought trucks still got shitty gas mileage.

Yeah, George, you really didn't even check out Wikipedia.org before you showed up for this speech, did you?

– and conserve up to eight and a half billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017.


Which sounds impressive until you consider that 2017 is a decade away and we're already seeing wild changes in climate around the world. Hell, last year saw the first trip to the north pole...by boat.

Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but will not eliminate it.


Awww, I bet you're so disappointed!

So as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must also step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways.


Wait--step up domestic oil production??

HAVE YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION, GEORGE??

OIL=BAD

Jesus, you're thick!

And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.


As opposed to asking Congress to pass bills that would provide funding/incentive to private businesses to come up with alternatives to needing oil.

Dude--imagine if instead of dropping $500+ billion on the oh-so-successful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we, instead sank that money into alternative energy research?

With that much money spent we might be able to not be able to solve our energy problems but we might solve the petrodollar problem, too!

$500 billion!

America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil.


BUT STILL DEPENDENT!!

^_^

These technologies will help us become better stewards of the environment – and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.


And then we'll be big boys and girls and wear adult pants!

A future of hope and opportunity requires a fair, impartial system of justice.


WHOA! Another ricochet transition!

Man, I think I'll sue the speech writer for verbal whiplash!

The lives of citizens across our Nation are affected by the outcome of cases pending in our federal courts.


"At least, that's what I've been told to tell you."

And we have a shared obligation to ensure that the federal courts have enough judges to hear those cases and deliver timely rulings. As President, I have a duty to nominate qualified men and women to vacancies on the federal bench. And the United States Senate has a duty as well – to give those nominees a fair hearing, and a prompt up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.


So, don't be too thorough is what you're saying to Congress.

For all of us in this room, there is no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this country from danger.


"Even if we have to make up the danger--wait! Damn! How'd that get in there?"

Five years have come and gone since we saw the scenes and felt the sorrow that terrorists can cause.


Since then, we've seen the scenes and felt the sorrow that a totally botched foreign occupation can cause. SO?

We have had time to take stock of our situation.


Yes, but HAVE YOU?

We have added many critical protections to guard the homeland.


Oh come on! Just admit you've built [http://www.progressive.org/mag_rcb041706|concentration camps] !! ADMIT IT!!

YOU KNOW YOU WANNA!!

"The homeland." Sheesh.

Too bad I'm not allowed to compare Bush to Hitler and or the Nazis any more.

The comparison is so fair!!

All right, that's it for now! Come back tomorrow for PART 5!!

Sorry folks, this thing just keeps on going!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Project365 day 030





Project365 day 030

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


Yep, I missed my bus again. Would someone please loan me $2000 or sell me a

motorcycle for $500, please? :)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Project365 day 029





Project365 day 029a

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


Here's another shot of me lookin' SEXAY in the glow of my PowerBook's LCD screen! Well, trust me, ladies, I'd look very sexy if only I could HELD THE DAMN PHONE STEADY!!

CHILDREN OF MEN (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Definitely. While I found plenty to not like about the film, I found a lot to like, too.


Technically any good? Unfortunately, the script is littered with cliches--the crass old hippie "Ben Kenobi" type, the old flame dragging the lead into a dangerous situation and the "magic of children" are just a few examples of the tritenesses in this movie. It's unfortunate, because the bleak, but disturbingly realistic future the film creates is all too believable. It's more believable than any other future I've seen dreamed up before.


How did it leave me feeling? Entertained, but a little disappointed. However, you shouldn't let my opinion dissuade you from seeing this movie. I think it's generally a crowd pleaser in a sense that people less anal than me will enjoy it just fine. So, check it out and make up your own mind.


Final Rating? SIYL - See If You Like - it shows us a very depressing future--one that many of us believe is around the corner. Just as the film predicts.

Quick Update

I had a hectic weekend and didn't get a chance to finish quipping to Bush's State of the Empire speech. I'll spend some more time with it today/tonight and will definitely have another edition up by Tuesday morning if not sooner. Then, once that's done I'll get to the Democrats' reply. Hey, I'm an equal opportunity quipper! Oh yeah--I've also got a short backlog of Project365 pics to post. I'll get to those tonight.

-Pete

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Project365 day 028





Project365 day 028

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


Don't I look handsome by the light of the laptop screen? I used to get so many chicks with pictures like this on my website.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Project365 day 027





Project365 day 027

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


Me in the TJ's! (That's Trader Joe's to anyone unlucky to have this great alternative to supermarkets in their neighborhood.) Can't you just tell how much I enjoy shopping for food? Give me SHOES any day, sister!

I am SO kidding...

Gadgets are what I like to buy :)

BODY FOUND ON FIRE BLOCKS FROM ME

This is not a huge deal on par with illegal stuff George W. Bush has done, but, in my mind, it's worth posting about just the same. Last night I'm out with TheWife having dinner at the home of a friend of ours in Play del Rey. This area of LA is a lot like Marina del Rey (ritzy ocean-front property) only there's no marina in the name and no ocean for the area to overlook (it is MdR-adjacent, however). It's a quiet part of LA. If there weren't so many people there, you might even describe it as sleepy.

We had a great time with our friend, his girlfriend and another friend who joined us. Finally, at around 12:45am we decided to head back to Westwood and go to sleep. Which is exactly what we did. However, about an hour after we left our friend's place, a woman's body was set on fire in a street less than ten blocks from our friends condo.

Yeah, what the fuck, right?

Earlier this afternoon, during my writing-preparation-ritual (procrastination) I checked DrudgeReport.Com to find a link to [http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-body27jan27,1,5880913.story?ctrack=1&cset=true|this January 27, 2007 article] that informed me of what happened. Check out this cutting:
A smoldering body, believed to be that of a woman, was found on a quiet Playa del Rey street after residents called to report a rubbish fire.

Firefighters found the body in the 8100 block of Tuscany Avenue after receiving a call at 2:06 p.m., said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Los Angeles police spokesman Jason Lee said that the victim appeared to be an African American woman in her 30s but that her identity and the cause of death would have to be determined by the coroner's office.

Humphrey said no one had come forward to give any information about what might have happened. Several people called the Fire Department to report a rubbish fire, he said.


Crazy, huh?

Life in the big city. Not sure what else to say, but I felt compelled to blog on this story for obvious proximity-related reasons.

Life is so weird sometimes.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Project365 day 026





Project365 day 026

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


This was taken at my friend Hunter's place--no we weren't drunk. OK, I wasn't drunk. :) This pic was not taken with my Sidekick 3 or my SLVR, but was taken with my minicam in nightvision mode. I'll try to post the video--we look positively stoned... :)

GOOD SHEPHERD (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Yeah, definitely. It's not a real crowd-pleaser, but I think it's a great thinking-person's movie. I've read up on this stuff already, so I can say that it's fairly accurate regarding the culture of the CIA. It's not a liberal polemic against the CIA, either (at least, not in my opinion).


Technically any good? While I didn't buy Matt Damon's aging process for a second, his acting skills as the eternally restrained co-founder of the CIA made up for any lack of skills from the make-up department. I am a fan of this movie and don't feel there was much wrong with it. Direction, acting, story, everything works and works well.


How did it leave me feeling? Very satisfied. This is a movie that presents the CIA as a flawed but important agency with a culture very much its own. While only based on the real history of the CIA, it managed to capture the emotional resonance that you get when you learn about this stuff on your own.


Final Rating? GSN - Go See Now - I highly recommend this film for thinking-people everywhere.

STATE OF THE EMPIRE 2007 with quips! Pt 3

Here we are with PART 3 of the State of the Empire speech from King George the Foolhardy, complete with TheQuips from ThePete!

ENJOY!

Now the task is to build on this success, without watering down standards ...


Standards???

Are you sure those are a good idea? I mean, we might have to fire you if we had those for, you know, you.

without taking control from local communities ... and without backsliding and calling it reform. We can lift student achievement even higher by giving local leaders flexibility to turn around failing schools ... and by giving families with children stuck in failing schools the right to choose something better.


AND COOKIES FOR EVERYONE!

It must be so cool to be able to just spout off the most positive shit that passes through your brain without needing anything to back it up.

We must increase funds for students who struggle – and make sure these children get the special help they need.


That sure would be nice!

And we can make sure our children are prepared for the jobs of the future, and our country is more competitive, by strengthening math and science skills.


Wouldn't it be "And we can make sure THAT our children are prepared for the jobs of the future, SO our country is more competitive--

Wait--that sentence is all messed up. Let's try this:

"By strengthening math and science skills we can make sure that our children are prepared for the jobs of the future and that our country is more competitive."

Much better. Man, doesn't anyone read this crap before he shows up at the podium???

The No Child Left Behind Act has worked for America’s children – and I ask Congress to reauthorize this good law.


AGAIN: you got some facts/numbers to back this absurd claim up?

A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available healthcare.


Yeah, I like my healthcare to be "available" too.

o_O

When it comes to healthcare, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children. We will meet those responsibilities.


"But all you low-income adults, you don't deserve good health! So, FUCK OFF!"

For all other Americans, private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs. But many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy.


Wait. So, what good is a "strong economy" if we all can't afford healthcare?

Perhaps you could give us all free cable and Internet so we could spend that money on healthcare?

Tonight, I propose two new initiatives to help more Americans afford their own insurance.


"But don't worry, like all of my initiatives, I won't be doing anything with them. Remember that hydrogen car?"

First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents. Families with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income. Single Americans with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $7,500 of their income.


Wow! With the money I save I can go buy a PS3!!

OK, a Wii?

With this reform, more than 100 million men, women, and children who are now covered by employer-provided insurance will benefit from lower tax bills.


Once more: TELL ME WHY WE SHOULD BELIEVE YOU.

At the same time, this reform will level the playing field for those who do not get health insurance through their job.


Why not just do what most other countries in the world do and give out free healthcare to people with Social Security numbers? All this tax shit is just slight-of-hand to me. I'm not an idiot therefore I don't trust you making tax credits and cuts sound like a good thing when really a complete overhaul of the system is required. Hey, we are the only 1st world nation that doesn't give free healthcare to its citizens.

If our economy is so "strong" why can't we afford to do this?

Answer: It's not about the economy, it's about big business telling goverment what to do even if it harms the American people.

For Americans who now purchase health insurance on their own, my proposal would mean a substantial tax savings – $4,500 for a family of four making $60,000 a year. And for the millions of other Americans who have no health insurance at all, this deduction would help put a basic private health insurance plan within their reach.


Or a PS3.

Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making healthcare affordable for more Americans.


This is true but not the way youlre thinking.

My second proposal is to help the states that are coming up with innovative ways to cover the uninsured. States that make basic private health insurance available to all their citizens should receive federal funds to help them provide this coverage to the poor and the sick.


Won't this mean more taxes for the rest of us? How are you going to provide tax breaks AND funding to states without raising taxes?

I have asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to work with Congress to take existing federal funds and use them to create “Affordable Choices” grants.


More rhetoric! "Affordable Choices"--sounds like some sort of diet plan.

These grants would give our Nation’s governors more money and more flexibility to get private health insurance to those most in need.


As usual, sounds great but when you've screwed so many other things up...

There are many other ways that Congress can help.


BAKE SALES!

We need to expand Health Savings Accounts ... help small businesses through Association Health Plans ... reduce costs and medical errors with better information technology ... encourage price transparency ... and protect good doctors from junk lawsuits by passing medical liability reform.


Ah, yes. We should help businesses by hurting citizens' right to sue. Why should a person who has suffered under a doctor's mistake be limited to how much he can sue?

Seems pretty lopsided, in favor of big business.

And in all we do, we must remember that the best healthcare decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors.


Aw, you say that like you actually mean it!

Extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America – with laws that are fair and borders that are secure.

Whoa!! Talk about a sudden right-hand turn!

One moment we're discussing healthcare and the next immigration. I think I hurt my neck!

Hey, isn't "healthcare" two words?

Ah well, that's it for today! Swing by tomorrow for more fun quipping to the King's State of the Empire speech!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Project365 day 025





Project365 day 025

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


Me, back in the homecube, sitting at my beloved PowerBook. I had hoped to take a picture of myself at Best Buy tonight, but I forgot--too excited having found a copy of Katamari Damacy for $20. :)

PAN'S LABYRINTH (2006)

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Wow, I'd say it was a positive movie-going experience, but it's a pretty dark and depressing film. However it has a fairly positive (and important) mesage to send.


Technically any good? Del Toro is a good filmmaker and in all ways, this film is a well-made film. I think it succeeds in every way it sets out to. Everything is solid from acting to direction, to writing and so on.


How did it leave me feeling? A little disappointed, actually. While I think this movie was really great (and very important to see for every adult out there) it did let me down in the fairytale department. This film is billed as a fairy tale for adults, but by the end you realize it isn't. This isn't so much a spoiler as it is a warning. There simply isn't very much "labyrinth" in Pan's Labyrinth. Most of the movie takes place in the real (and very depressing) world of post WWII Spain (which was not a happy place).


Final Rating? SIYL - See If You Like: This is a brilliant, important film, but it's depressing, a bit disturbing, though it is ultimately an uplifting movie.

STATE OF THE EMPIRE 2007 with quips! Pt 2

Here it is! Part 2 of the SotE speech with quips!

Here we go!

Unemployment is low, inflation is low, and wages are rising.


Dude--I took a pay cut when I went back to temping and it ended up being a bigger pay cut than I was told. It's been 6 months and they MIGHT give me a raise back up to where they promised.

This economy is on the move – and our job is to keep it that way, not with more government but with more enterprise.


So. less regulation on business, right? Let them get away with even more crap and when we do bother to prosecute let them spend even less to buy us off--I mean--pay fines.

The economy is NOT on the move. How do I know this? I'm at the low end of said economy. If I could afford all of my cool gadgets AND a car AND a kid, then I might believe you. But telling us anything but that the economy is still in rough shape is to lie to us.

Next week, I will deliver a full report on the state of our economy. Tonight, I want to discuss three economic reforms that deserve to be priorities for this Congress.


Oo, let me guess! Spend, spend and tax!

First, we must balance the federal budget. We can do so without raising taxes.


So, should we read your lips?

Yeah, that's what your dad said...

What we need to do is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C.


Does anyone else find this as absurd coming from him as I do???

Who just dropped $500 billion as a down payment on another country's civil war???

We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009 – and met that goal three years ahead of schedule.


Didn't Clinton get rid of the deficit completely? Didn't we have a surplus with him?

Why is it Regan gets better as history moves on while Clinton gets worse?

Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the federal deficit within the next five years.


HA!

How are you going to do that? Rob the central banks of a dozen 3rd world countries?

o_O

Oh shit--you're going to have the IMF do your dirty work for you, aren't you?

I ask you to make the same commitment. Together, we can restrain the spending appetite of the federal government, and balance the federal budget.


"We'll start by cutting funding for the Iraq war."

"SIKE!"

Next, there is the matter of earmarks. These special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour – when not even C-SPAN is watching.


Sadly, C-SPAN is usually the only one paying attention.

Also: Republicans add last minute shit, too.

In 2005 alone, the number of earmarks grew to over 13,000 and totaled nearly $18 billion. Even worse, over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate – they are dropped into Committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You did not vote them into law. I did not sign them into law. Yet they are treated as if they have the force of law.


Just like YOU!

The time has come to end this practice. So let us work together to reform the budget process ... expose every earmark to the light of day and to a vote in Congress … and cut the number and cost of earmarks at least in half by the end of this session.


Sounds great! Of course, hydrogen cars and a mission to Mars sounded great, too.

Finally, to keep this economy strong we must take on the challenge of entitlements.


To "keep this economy strong"??? I was unaware it was strong at all. You said it was "growing" not strong. I think this is the inverse of a straw man argument.

Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience – and so it is our duty to keep them permanently sound.


Oh, let's not talk about privatizing Social Security again!

Yet we are failing in that duty – and this failure will one day leave our children with three bad options: huge tax increases, huge deficits, or huge and immediate cuts in benefits.


As opposed to what we're all facing now--two out of three of those things.

Everyone in this Chamber knows this to be true – yet somehow we have not found it in ourselves to act.


That's pretty funny coming from the dude that's done most of the spending in the past, oh, six years!

So let us work together and do it now. With enough good sense and good will, you and I can fix Medicare and Medicaid – and save Social Security.


"Just like I brought freedom to Iraq!"

Seriously, can we call Dr. McCoy and have this guy declared unfit to command this starship, now please?

Beyond the fact that this guy has screwed up so much already, how's he going to do all that other stuff, anyway?

Spreading opportunity and hope in America also requires public schools that give children the knowledge and character they need in life.


So, vouchers should be given out so kids don't have to go to public schools?

Five years ago, we rose above partisan differences to pass the No Child Left Behind Act – preserving local control, raising standards in public schools, and holding those schools accountable for results.


Isn't that the one you had to shoot propaganda video about that pretended the NCLBA was working fine because it actually wasn't?

I just love it when you point to a failure and call it a success. With the frequency you do it we're almost forced to redefine the term "doublespeak". Seriously--Orwell could only dream of someone thise deceitful.

And because we acted, students are performing better in reading and math, and minority students are closing the achievement gap.


You want to back that up with some facts? I heard NCLB is still lacking the funds it needs to function, let alone succeed.

OK, that's it for today's installment of Quipping to the State of the Empire 2007! Stop by tomorrow for another thrilling edition!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Project365 day 024





Project365 day 024

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


Wow it's hard coming up with good pics of me everyday! Ah well.

JOHN KERRY NOT RUNNING IN 2008

WHEW!

At least there is ONE politician who has a brain and not just nerve! Check out the below link for more info.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/24/kerry.2008/index.html

STATE OF THE EMPIRE 2007 with quips! Pt 1

HERE WE GO AGAIN, FOLKS!

It's January again and it's time for another thrilling State of the Empire speech from our beloved King George!

Here come my quips along with [http://drudgereport.com/flash2f.htm|the transcript as posted] by DrudgeReport.Com

EXCLUSIVE: FULL STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH
Tue Jan 23 2007 20:20:50 ET


[EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY ]


What the hell does that mean, Drudge? You're bragging because you got a copy of the speech early? Sheesh. That's important until, you know, Bush gives his speech.

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:


WHAT A GUY! He called us "fellow" citizens!! As if he was one of us! He is the divine and holy King George the Foolhardy!

How modest of him to call us all fellow citizens!

On a serious note: What? Does he think the rest of the world isn't his domain and that they aren't listening tonight?

This rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour –


"Happy Hour!"

"Heh-heh! That's a joke from my drinking days... I called them Monday and Tuesday--OF THIS WEEK!! HEH-HEH!!"

when decisions are hard and courage is tested.


He forgot stupidity!

We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us. We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies – and the wisdom to face them together.


Yay, enemies!

Wait--no. Who are our enemies again? The insurgents, Al Qaeda, the Iranians, the Syrians, the Iraqis... damn, I can't keep 'em all straight!

Some in this Chamber are new to the House and Senate – and I congratulate the Democratic majority.


That's all right, they're already making it pretty easy on you what with impeachment being off the table. Personally, I think it should be taken out of the dog bowl and served to you on a silver platter, but that's just me (and [http://impeachnow.org/|a few other people]).

Congress has changed, but our responsibilities have not. Each of us is guided by our own convictions – and to these we must stay faithful.


Not if they're batshit insane, man!

Let's march all over the Middle East and force our way of life on them! WEEEEE!! It'll be just like the Crusades! Only this time we'll kick those Arabs asses!!

Yet we are all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this Nation’s prosperity ...


...with no regard for human rights or the physical well-being of the people who might aggressively disagree with us.

to spend the people’s money wisely ...


HA!!!

That's RICH coming from a guy who is now spending $8 billion a month on a war for WMD that DON'T EXIST.

to solve problems,


"That I created--how'd that get in there?"

not leave them to future generations ...


Dude, that's exactly what you want to do, man! You want to extend this thing until 2008 so you can leave it to the next guy in the White House.

to guard America against all evil,



YAY! MORE BLACK & WHITE TERMS, OVERSIMPLIFYING THE WORLD SO THAT WE DUMB AMERICANS CAN FEEL JUSTIFIED IN KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE!!

It must be nice living in a world where you can see pure evil and then kill it...

You know, without having to give it a trial just in case, you know, you're wrong.

and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us.


You mean there are some left?

We haven't used them all up? Actually, I'm pretty sure that every member of the American military probably deserves a good year away from Iraq by now...

We are not the first to come here with government divided and uncertainty in the air.


What the hell does that mean?

"Uncertainty?" I don't think there's anything uncertain about you fucking things up again, my friend. In fact, it doesn't get much more certain than that!

Like many before us, we can work through our differences,


Not until you face war crimes charges!

and achieve big things for the American people.


"Big things?"

Like what? Are you going to give everyone free cars? That would be OPRAHRIFIC!

Our citizens don’t much care which side of the aisle we sit on – as long as we are willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done.


Isn't it cute? He thinks people still like him!

Awwww!

Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans, and help them to build a future of hope and opportunity – and this is the business before us tonight.


BUSINESS--that's why we're in Iraq--to make money for your business buddies.

Sorry, was I not supposed to go there this early in the speech?

A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy – and that is what we have.


COUGHbullshitCOUGH

We are now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth – in a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs ... so far.


Tell us why you're not lying to us.

Seriously.

You've lied about buckets of other stuff--why is this the truth now?


OK, that's it for part 1. Part 2 comes tomorrow! WAHOO!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Project365 day 023





Project365 day 023

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


WOW! I'm not on the bus AGAIN! This time I went for a walk to a park near
my temp job. Well, it's less a park and more a manufactured place for people who live in this new condo development to visit. It's very fake, but there are trees and grass, so it's nice to hang there for a few minutes before heading back to the dungeon--I mean--my cubicle.

BUSH'S NEW PLAN FOR IRAQ WITH QUIPS!

Well, despite how busy I am these days you just KNOW I can't let Bush's New Plan for Iraq (tm) go by without me tearing giant, gaping holes in it! Plus he's about to give his State of the Empire address and I'll be quipping to that, too.

Now, the quips you're about to read are completely off the cuff. I haven't read the full thing before right now. I do know the gist of it, but none of the details.

HERE WE GO!

(Oh yeah, I got [http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/10/bush.transcript/index.html|the transcript] from CNN.com)
Below is the text of President Bush's speech to the nation outlining his new strategy in Iraq:

Good evening. Tonight in Iraq, the armed forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror - and our safety here at home.


Oh THAT old chestnut! Still trying to madly tie Iraq to tWAT? I really don't see how terrorists in Iraq effect the War Against Terror anywhere else. If we kill the terrorists in Iraq we'll just make said terrorists look like martyrs and therefore inspire more people to become terrorists, thus, solving nothing.

Well--DUH. That's what you want, isn't it? Ever since the Soviet Union folded under it's own weight the military/industrial complex has had trouble selling it's wares to a reasonably peaceful planet Earth. But NOW, we have a NEW and PERPETUAL ENEMY!

For years--no--DECADES TO COME, the MIC will supply, for a fee, the weapons that will kill terrorist around the world!

Nice plan--too bad it's totally immoral.

But please, King George, pray continue...

The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.


HA!

As if!

As if as if anyone's going to believe you at this point! You've fucked up everything from 911 on! In fact, you were being called a Lame Duck President before 911 and now people are calling you that again!

Anyone who thinks anything you say is a good idea is a fool or someone inside the MIC.

When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation.


How'd that work out in the end?

Civil war?

Awwww, too bad.

The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together - and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.


GASP! I feel... an admission of failure coming on!! COULD IT BE??

But in 2006, the opposite happened. The violence in Iraq - particularly in Baghdad - overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made. Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause. And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis.


How convenient for the MIC! It's almost as if your pals in the Military Industrial Complex had a direct hand in rallying the insurgents and Al Qaeda in Iraq!

Wait a minute!

Nahhh! They'd never do something that immoral!

;)

They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam - the Golden Mosque of Samarra - in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq's Shia population to retaliate.


Too bad most Americans don't understand how truly bizarre this kind of behavior from even an extremist Muslim was. Any mosque is revered by any Muslim. I know this because I actually know a Muslim. I wonder if Bush has ever spoken with his Muslim friends about their faith. The point is, even extremists would think twice about blowing up such a sacred mosque. It smacks of something much more corrupt and immoral--some outside group encouraging Muslims to turn inward on themselves, or perhaps coalition forces pretending to be Muslim extremists and blowing up the mosque themselves.

It's not like the CIA hasn't pulled shit like that off in the past.

Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today.


Don't forget that these death squads often wear Iraqi police uniforms, suggesting that they have been sanctioned by the democratically elected government of Iraq.

WHOOPS!

The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people - and it is unacceptable to me.


TOOK YA LONG ENOUGH, BITCH!

MAN, it's been unacceptable to us Americans for years now!

Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do.


What's this "we" stuff, white boy?

No, dickhead, they did everything YOU asked them to do. I'D have never asked them to fight in a war which did nothing to directly protect the American people.

Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.


WOW!

Now, if he could juuust say he's SORRY.

Fuck, man--could he have taken much longer to re-connect with reality?

It's his responsibility "WHERE" mistakes have been made?

Where HAVEN'T mistake been made??

It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq.


"Or so I've been told."

So my national security team, military commanders, and diplomats conducted a comprehensive review.


"And then I replaced them."

Seriously, he did just replace a bunch of them.

We consulted members of Congress from both parties,


WOW! ALL 2 PARTIES!!

our allies abroad, and distinguished outside experts.


And then you ignored them. OH wait, that was last time.

We benefited from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group - a bipartisan panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. In our discussions, we all agreed that there is no magic formula for success in Iraq.


I thought the Iraq Study Group said their was a kind of magic formula, though.

Personally, I don't see why we can't just get the hell out and let the Iraqis deal with their own country. We can send them financial aid, but we should let them spend it on rebuilding their country. I mean, they are adults, aren't they?

If they squander our cash, then we'll stop supporting them after a couple of years.

And one message came through loud and clear: Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.


What do you mean "would be" a disaster? Try "already is" a disaster for the US.

The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits.


No, I think that's what's happening now. Every day we stay we inspire more of that. if we get the hell out of Iraq those same extremists will declare victory and likeminded locals in the middle east will not feel that the threat of America is worth dying or even going extremist for. This is basic logic, George. Stop threatening people and they'll stop hating you. If we stay in Iraq, providing a threat of Americanization and they'll hate us more and there will be a larger number of them hating us, too. I hope this logic makes sense to more than just me.

They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions.


Wait--are you talking about us or them? [http://uprisingradio.org/home/?p=1106|Because that sounds a lot like us.]

Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people.


That may be, but they can already do all that in Afghanistan--even though we're still there, too.

On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities.


Ah, THAT old chestnut! 911=BOO!

For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.


What does "success" mean at this point?

Find WMD?

Get Saddam out of power?

Build a stable Iraq? How long will that take? How many Americans and Iraqis will die before that's done? How much money with that cost? Why is up to us to even do that? Haven't we done enough?

As for the "you break it, you bought it" thing? We invaded illegally/immorally, we can pull out the same way as far as I'm concerned. Every day we stay brings a bigger mess, more dead and more spent.

The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital.


Wait--so there's other violence in Iraq aside from sectarian violence? If not, why specify it like that?

This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis.


Once again, it sounds like you're talking about us.

Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people.


SO, WHY DO WE HAVE TO BE THERE???

And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.


SO, WHY DO WE HAVE TO BE THERE?????

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents, and there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.


Well, there wouldn't have been any insurgents if we had never invaded or if we had gotten out when you claimed "Mission Accomplished." So saying it's anyone's fault but (y)ours is essentially LYING.

Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.


Too bad [http://www.courierpress.com/news/2007/jan/12/ellsworth-questions-top-military-officials-about/|some folks in government don't agree with you]. You have to admit that trusting you with anything at this point is pretty friggin' stupid. What was it you once said? OH yeah:

"Fool me once shame on you... fool me twice... you can't get fooled again."

Wise words, sir!

Now, let me explain the main elements of this effort. The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital.


Oh yes, the Iraqi government will select them. Sure, sure...

The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi army and national police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts.


Police brigades? Weren't those death squads wearing police uniforms?

When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi army and national police brigades committed to this effort, along with local police. These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations; conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.


So, you expect Baghdad residents to not mind that this plan was formulated by America? Hell, I don't trust this plan because it was formulated by us!

This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I've committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq.


Many of which will die.

Hey, just being honest.

The vast majority of them -- five brigades -- will be deployed to Baghdad.


Yeah, who cares about the rest of the country, anyway?

These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods,


What is there to secure if the neighborhoods have already been cleared? And where do all the people from said neighborhoods go once they are cleared out? Or do you just kill most of them like you did in Fallujah?

to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.


Sounds like a great plan--too bad it will result in more dead people on all sides of the conflict.

Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not.


Wow, Bush is really paying attention! I'm impressed!

Well, here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents - but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned.


Gee, could that be because we didn't move on from Iraq??

I love how no one ever talks about why there are terrorist and insurgents inside Iraq right now. IT'S BECAUSE WE'RE THERE IDIOTS!!

This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods - and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.


In other words: Kill 'em all! Let God/Allah sort 'em out!

I have made it clear to the prime minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people - and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.


Since when do the Iraqi people have any say in what goes on? Last poll I heard about said most Iraqis think it's OK to kill Americans. That hasn't gotten us out of Iraq any faster.

Now is the time to act. The prime minister understands this.


Yes, but do you?

Here is what he told his people just last week: "The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation."


WOW! you know what? I'M CONVINCED NOW! THIS NEW PLAN WILL WORK!

Oh wait... I'm not convinced of crap! Never mind!

This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks.


No, but I'm pretty sure an immediate and complete pull-out of American troops from Iraq would!

Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering.


Wait--don't you want to blame the media for that?

Yet, over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents.


How much time?

When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas. Most of Iraq's Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace. And reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible.


Wow... I TOTALLY don't buy that!! So, more US troops and more Iraqis kicking ass and taking names will somehow make everything cool in Iraq.

Talk about bullshit rhetoric!

Where's the political solution that will show both major sects of Islam that they will be represented equally in the Iraqi government? That's what is needed here. They won't stop killing before they feel that they don't have to kill any more.

A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.


Yeah, good luck with that. You wanna tell us what those visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities will be? Making on their problems go away by blowing up said neighborhoods and communities, perhaps?

To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November.


By November??? OF 2007???

Why will it take so long for them to take over their own security operations? Are Iraqis that friggin' stupid? Or is it that YOU think they're that stupid? (I'm betting on the latter.)

To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.


Ahhh, bribe them--good idea!

Oh and by the way--just how much revenue will be back once [http://uprisingradio.org/home/?p=1106|the foreign oil companies get their 75% of the profits]?

To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs.


And just where is the Iraqi government going to get "it's own money"???

A government's "own money" usually comes from taxes paid by it's citizens. So, here's the big selling point you're trying to sell, George: "The Iraqi government will take your money and create jobs for you to use to make money that you will use to pay taxes."

Enjoy that circle, Iraqis!

However, the Iraqi government can also take out loans from the IMF--the International Monetary Fund. The catch is, in order to get loans from the IMF, the Iraqi government has to meet the IMF's conditions. According to [http://uprisingradio.org/home/?p=1106|this post] at UprisingRadio.Org, these conditions are passing a law that will give 75% of the profits from oil, untaxed, to foreign oil companies. So, if they don't pass said law then Iraq doesn't get their loans thus jobs aren't created.

Isn't Globalism FUN?

To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution.


In other words, you're backing off on kicking out all the Baathists from Sadam's government. Now, the equivalent of Nazis and Nazi-supporters will be allowed back into government, much like Nazis were allowed to join American and Russian society after WWII despite their atrocities.

America will change our approach to help the Iraqi government as it works to meet these benchmarks. In keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers in Iraqi army units, and partner a coalition brigade with every Iraqi army division.


Uhhh... I'm not even sure what you just said. Didn't you already pretty much dismiss the Iraq Study Group's report out of hand? Now you're trying to bamboozle us into believing that you're actually taking some of the ISG's advice? More of the same from you--more doublespeak.

"Hey, isn't this black coffee pot a pretty shade of blue?"

It's just like that. Same something that is totally false, but don't let on that it is.

We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped army, and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, which remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq.


Ah, yes! Four years in is a GREAT time to accelerate the training of Iraqi forces! GOOD THINKING!

You sure you don't want to wait a couple more days? Maybe Wednesday or Thursday?

We will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance.


Whoa--even less oversight? What about that [http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/01/30/iraq.audit/|$9 billion you guys lost] in Iraq back in 2005?

We will double the number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams. These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen the moderates and speed the transition to Iraqi self-reliance.


You'd think Bush was running for office with that kind of vague, amorphous rhetoric. Seriously, would a few specifics be so difficult to provide here, bub?

And Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq.


Ah, yes, a decision made by Condi! GOOD IDEA!

Wait--has she actually made one of those on her own yet?

As we make these changes, we will continue to pursue al Qaeda and foreign fighters. Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq. Its home base is Anbar Province. Al Qaeda has helped make Anbar the most violent area of Iraq outside the capital.


Do you realize what you're saying???

1) You're telling us that you know precisely where AQ is in Iraq. Why don't you go get them?

2) You've just pointed out that the capital of Iraq is the most violent place in Iraq. The capital is where American forces are centered. What does that say? If Anbar is violent because Al Qaeda is there, then isn't Baghdad violent because America is there?

Does anyone actually read these speeches of yours before you speak them?

A captured al Qaeda document describes the terrorists' plan to infiltrate and seize control of the province. This would bring al Qaeda closer to its goals of taking down Iraq's democracy, building a radical Islamic empire, and launching new attacks on the United States at home and abroad.


Huh, so what would be ideal, in this case, would be a secular leader who is tough enough to keep the extremists out of power in Iraq.

Sounds a bit like Saddam.

Too bad we don't got one of those.

Our military forces in Anbar are killing and capturing al Qaeda leaders - and they are protecting the local population.


The Al Qaeda leaders are protecting the local population???

Like I asked earlier: does anyone actually read this stuff before you say it?

Recently, local tribal leaders have begun to show their willingness to take on al Qaeda.


But not before asking themselves the question: "Hmmm, who's worse? The US or AQ?"

And, as a result, our commanders believe we have an opportunity to deal a serious blow to the terrorists. So I have given orders to increase American forces in Anbar Province by 4,000 troops. These troops will work with Iraqi and tribal forces to keep up the pressure on the terrorists.


Oh, yeah--the "pressure" is really "on" the terrorists!

Dude, they're WINNING.

America's men and women in uniform took away al Qaeda's safe haven in Afghanistan - and we will not allow them to re- establish it in Iraq.


Well, that's funny because a whole bunch of people warned you that Saddam was actually doing a reasonable job of keeping things secular in Iraq before the US invaded. Bin Laden even said that Saddam was not an ally until the US began threatening to invade Iraq.

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity - and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria.


Ah, OK, here it comes. The real pretty shit we're all going to be standing in when Bush decides we need to begin the Iran Attack. I'm guessing Syria and her dentist leader (seriously, I've read he's a trained dentist) will cave but Iran is huge and, unlike Iraq, still has a formidable military.

These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.


Like you found WMD in Iraq?

Like you got Osama bin Laden?

Like you saved all those people after Katrina?

Like you protected us from terrorists on 911?

Are you going to cure cancer and AIDS and put a man on Mars, too? Perhaps you'd like to win American Idol?

We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region.


Ah yes, that CARRIER STRIKE GROUP WILL SURE HELP TAKE OUT THOSE TERRORISTS!!

Jesus, man! Talk about overkill!! Are you going to get all Israeli on their asses and use a cruise missile on a wheel-chair-bound cleric?

(OK, so it wasn't a cruise missile. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3556099.stm|It was a missile launched by an aircraft]. Seriously--the Israelis killed a guy in a wheelchair with a missile, but I digress.)

Another carrier group in the Persian Gulf is not there to route out insurgents or run AQ from Iraq. It's to support an assault on Iran. We'll do air strikes with our other carrier group and with help from Israel, too. It's going to be a mess if it happens, too, because an Iranattack would be just as illegal as the Iraqattack was. What's worse is that Iran can fight back stretching thinner our already stretched-thin military.

We will expand intelligence sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.


Yeah, you'll work with Israel on that "no nukes for Iran" thing, right? And Turkey? I think they still want in to the EU, so promise them that and they'll probably do anything you say.

We will use America's full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East.


Whoopdie-shit.

That's like, what? Thirty seconds of us going "come on, help us!" and then thirty seconds of us telling everyone "do it our way!"

Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists - and a strategic threat to their survival.


Shit, man--you make it sound like those states AREN'T extremists themselves! Egypt reportedly still practices torture and Saudi Arabia is so un-secular women can't drive cars and there are religion cops who rove the streets looking for people violating Islamic law! What you're saying here is more big brother doublespeak!

These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors - and they must step up their support for Iraq's unity government.


You're KIDDING me, man! Those nations have a stake in an UNsuccessful AMERICA! They are all Islamic states, you IDIOT. All they want is for Iraq to join the rest of the middle east's Islamicness so they can then gang up on Israel. You are either the biggest shmuck to ever rule a country or you are saying anything you fucking can to get us behind your faulty-ass plan.

We endorse the Iraqi government's call to finalize an international compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform.


YAY! More vague, amorphous rhetoric! I love this stuff!!

And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region - to build support for Iraq, and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.


Right, just like Darth Vader visiting the new Death Star in the beginning of Return of the Jedi.

I can hear Condi admonishing each leader after they insist they'll do their part: "I hope so, (INSERT LEADERSHIP TITLE HERE). The Emperor is not as forgiving as I..."

Cue Imperial March by John Williams as Condi moves onto the next country.

The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict.


"It's a debacle--NO WAIT!"

It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time.


HA! YOU WISH!

This is more doublespeak, folks.

He is, right about the decisive ideological struggle--though it's happening here in America, not in the Middle East.

On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation.


And the other side is YOU, George.

On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life.


What did I just say?

In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy -


Wow--this is too easy!

So, you want to "provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy." But isn't that what you're telling us to do? Hate the enemy? Not try to understand them? Assume they're evil as sin and not care when we kill them all?

...Or did I misunderstand you?

I'm sorry--what's the alternative YOU speak of?

by advancing liberty across a troubled region.


Ohhh...

It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom - and to help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.


OK, this clinches it, man. You're fucking crazy.

What you're talking about is marching across the Middle East and reshaping it in your own image. Playing god with countries is NOT cool.

Do you really think you know what's best for them?

Do you really think your way is the best way?

Are you really that insanely conceited?

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children.


Tell them the WHOLE story, Bush--how they're tired of American interests always messing things up over there. How America armed both Iran and Iraq during their big war in order to keep the instability there stable.

If the American fly could just stay zipped long enough to stop America from fucking the Middle East, I'm sure they'd be a lot more happy and free.

And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists - or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?


It must be fun to be insane.

I mean, I'd call invading another country for no ultimately no good reason the work of extremists, so...

The changes I have outlined tonight are aimed at ensuring the survival of a young democracy that is fighting for its life in a part of the world of enormous importance to American security.


Iraq is of "enormous importance to American security"? How's that?

The oil?

Israel?

WHAT?

Let me be clear: The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq are without conscience, and they will make the year ahead bloody and violent.


OH yeah, AMERICAN bullets won't harm a fly and the few that do were only fired because of an AQ threat, riiiight!

Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue - and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties.


Wow--you can really sell this shit, Bush!

The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will.


Ah, yes--what you believe again! That's never gotten us in trouble, yet!

Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved.


It will strongly resemble our victory in Vietnam and Somalia...

There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship.


Yeah, you're right--that battleship crap is so hackneyed and trite. You'd have to be crazy or a fool to try shit like that these days!

;)

But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world - a functioning democracy that polices its territory,


Yeah, 'cuz Isreal clearly isn't working for shit.

And Lebanon has that whole "state within a state" thing, that, you know, has popular support, but whatever.

upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people.


CRAZY TALK!

Seriously, where'd you get an idea that a government should do all that crazy shit?

A democratic Iraq will not be perfect.


OH, but a Republican one would be PERFECT!

...that's probably not what you meant...

But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them


MORE CRAZY TALK!

America harbors bad guys, too ya know. Where do you think we got the father of the American Space Program, Werner von Braun? He was Nazi. Now he's an American hero. Go figure.

- and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and grandchildren.


Yeah, unless you bastards in government come up with another imaginary threat to keep us afraid and you guys in power.

This new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the different courses we could take in Iraq.


Hey, it's that stuff that comes out of a horse's bum!

HORSE SHIT!

As if you REALLY did any of that stuff.

As if this plan was really "new" at all.

As if you gave any more thought to this plan beyond saying out loud "Let's throw more American blood at it!"

Too dark?

Many are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States - and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq's borders and hunting down al Qaeda.


Frankly? I never gave a crap about the Iraqi people. Sure, I care about all human life and don't want to see anyone die, but there are plenty of problems we have here at home. Short of genocide abroad, I don't think we should be involved in much of anything outside of the US that doesn't present a serious and direct threat against us. And by that I mean we would have to be bombed by a major country before we do anything. 911 was a crime--not an act of war. You need a country to do something before you can call it an act of war.

My opinion is, we pull out of Iraq now let the Iraqis rebuild their county with billions in cash from us--but WE stay OUT--NO AMERICANS, NO AMERICAN CORPORATIONS.

Then we put your ass on trial for war crimes and send the future the message that we all fucked up, but we made the criminals pay.

Their solution is to scale back America's efforts in Baghdad - or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces.


Hm, I wonder who "they" are.

We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear the country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale.


Ah, how convenient for your plot. If this were a movie script I'd say it was pretty damned contrived.

Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal.


Wait--if we leave, we'll have to stay longer??

You really are fucking crazy.

If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.


Now you're sounding like Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. Didn't his character get killed in that movie?

o_O

In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy.


And they will hate it.

You don't need me to source that, do you? Give News.Google.Com a try, kids. :)

If members have improvements that can be made, we will make them.


Why do I not believe you?

If circumstances change, we will adjust. Honorable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms. It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed.


"But in the end it won't matter what you commies think. We're doing what I want. So there."

Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress,


HA!

That Republican-wannabe?? I hardly think you can cite Lieberman as your sole example of bipartisanship!

we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.


HA!

YOU'RE KIDDING ME!!

This group will meet regularly with me and my administration. It will help strengthen our relationship with Congress.


You make it sound like couples therapy. As if it were that "easy."

We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the armed forces we need for the 21st century. We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas - where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.


Sounds like you're recruiting for a sequel to Team America.

Those silly puppets!

In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us.


This is were it gets really depressing faithful readers.

Defend US, Bush? You mean defend Halliburton and Bechtel and your future bank account.

You are sick. You dare to say that American soldiers are dying in Iraq for me.

No, asshole. They're dying for YOU and YOUR MONEY.

These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary - and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time.


If that's true, then John Kerry was right about them--they're fucking morons.

Of course, I know they're not because many are against the war.

They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table.


Dude, I really fucking hate you.

Could you possibly patronize these people any more than this?

They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty.


No. Nothing that is happening in Iraq is protecting MY liberty, you liar.

In fact, it's endangering it because you're pissing off so many more extremists and even people who wouldn't be extremists if it weren't for you.

We mourn the loss of every fallen American - and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.


Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve.


Wait--I thought the "Mission" was "Accomplished".

What was that banner on the battleship all about?

It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom.


Oh, but George, you make it look so easy!

Yet times of testing reveal the character of a nation.


True 'nuf!

America tortures, spies on it's own, allows fixed elections and would rather watch American Idol than protest any of the above.

And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed.


We have?

How many years was slavery legal?

How many Native Americans were slaughtered since 1492?

How many countries have we invaded, occupied and destroyed since 1776?

Weeee! History is fun!

Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can and we will prevail.


Since you've been right about so many other things so far, I'm going to trust you, George!*

*I'm lying.

We go forward with trust that the author of liberty will guide us through these trying hours. Thank you and good night.


You forgot the "good luck" part.

The "author of liberty", who would that be? God? Why not just mention Him by Name?

Too heavy handed?

Yeah, you wouldn't want to be heavy handed, would you?


 



OK, that's all!!

If you've actually read all of this YOU'RE AN ANGEL!

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to add your own quips below and be sure to watch for my quippage of the State of the Empire speech sometime after tonight when Bush delivers it.

WAHOO!!

Oh and sorry for any typos or grammatical mistakes. It took me forever to get through this and I just wanted to get it done.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Project365 day 022





Project365 day 022

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


Look! I'm not on a bus! Ironically, I am waiting for one though. Or rather, on my way to my bus stop after work. In case you're just tuning in, I am an Angeleno without a car. As a result, I'm an Angeleno with a bus pass. :)

Anyway, so the lighting's really crappy outside my dayjob but if you look real close you can make me out in the darkness. That little white thing in the BG is the moon...I think...

Yikes! I think it might be time to start using the SLVR for the pics from now on--this is the second pic that didn't upload completely.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Project365 day 021





Project365 day 024

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.

It's another bus shot!! WAHOOOOO!

Yep, my scarf is back because it's cold in LA again. Low 50s is
positively ice for Los Angeles (pronounced Loss Ang-ggel-eez)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Project365 day 020





Project365 day 020

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.


I'm on the way to Groundwork in Hollywood where I worked on my novel and
met with fellow NaNoWriMo vet, Chris.

MORE TROOPS TO IRAQ, BUT NO NUDES

What America needs is an excuse to keep soldiers in, not fall back on old-fashioned bullshit reasons to kick them out. What am I referring to? Well, it turns out that the US Air Force has discovered that a very hot female staff sergeant has posed in the newd for Playboy Magazine. According to [http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0112PlayboyMilitary12-ON.html|a January 12, 2007 article] from AP.org available at AZCentral.Com, Michele Manhart has been "relieved of her duties while the military investigates".

Investigates WHAT? That's she's hot as hell? You can tell that just by looking at the pics (which you can find on the 'net if you do your own investigating).

Now, I understand that it's against the military code of conduct to pose nude on active duty, so in that sense, I understand that she'd be in trouble for doing it, but I think in today's world when the military can exceed their recruitment quota only by lowering it first (at least that's what I heard on the Daily Show last week) and when they need to [http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3MDUxNzIwJnlyaXJ5N2Y3MTdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5Mg==|look to immigrants (some illegal) to boost recruitment levels], you'd think the US Military would be changing the more conservative (and stupid) rules that take people out/off of active duty.

I'm starting to wonder if the US Military really wants to kill all the terrorists, after all.

What I'm saying is this: CHANGE YOUR OVERLY CONSERVATIVE MILITARY CODE OF CONDUCT!!

I mean, come on--which is more important? Killing 50,000 Al Qaeda guys or keeping the image of the American military "pure". On that front, I think the US Mil has already lost the battle. Seriously--US soldiers have been caught torturing innocent people, killing loads of innocent civilians (raping at least one of them first), and of course, failing to capture Osama after 5 years (and don't get me started on the friendly fire thing). They've been on the front lines as Iraq descended into violent chaos and as the Taleban began their return to power in Afghanistan and these guys are upset about some staff sergeant posing nude and partially nude (with the clothed part being her uniform) in Playboy?

If I was her commanding officer I'd say to her: "Thanks for posing nude, I thought I'd have to sexually harass you before I'd get to see you nude!"

I'm not being unfair to the military when I make the above joke, either. If you haven't heard of Suzanne Swift's case, you might want to [http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/64/22458|read a bit about it]. But I'm getting off track. Even giving her the day off because of posing nude is absurd.

I think it's is like the time they kicked out a gay guy because, well, he was gay or like when the FBI fired gay Arabic interpreters because they were gay.

People, we've really got to chill about this sex stuff.

Homosexuality has been around for as long as heterosexuality and BOTH are natural.

If anything, killing is the abnormal, unnatural thing to do, yet American society glamorizes it everywhere you look. Movies, TVs video games--it's great to kill, but pose half-out of your uniform and IT'S TIME TO INVESTIGATE!

Well, I'm going to go investigate those pictures of her as well...

Very, very, closely...

...if you know what I mean.

Oh and if a hot naked staff sergeant isn't your thing head over to MediaMonitors.Net and read [http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/39887|a really cool post from January 16, 2007] on how Michelle Manhart's nude pics should be viewed as a recruitment tool for a military struggling to get new blood to shed (sorry, couldn't resist).

Friday, January 19, 2007

Project365 day 019





Project365 day 024

Originally uploaded by thepetecom.

Here, I'm on the way to meet up with TheWife, her dad and a friend for an amazing dinner at a place called Akwa in Santa Monica. Above, observe my expression as I wonder if I'm on the right bus.

SOCIAL INCLUSION: A POWERFUL THING

I was waiting for my bus the other day and at the bus stop I saw a homeless guy I've seen around town for a couple years. He was talking to someone else whom I didn't recognize but could tell was not homeless. He was one of those chatty homeless guys who will approach you and start talking about things he thinks you might care about. I've never heard him ask for money, but I've overhead him talking about not having a home and he sure dresses as though he doesn't make much money--not that I'm some fashion plate, mind you. You know what I mean--he wears a jacket with a high school logo on it that suggests he went to school in a city far from California or a pair of stone-washed jeans from the 1980s.

One thing he had on his person struck me as very interesting--he had, hanging from his belt, a fake leather cell phone case. The thing is, it was empty.

This is how immensely powerful the feeling of inclusion is. The dude is homeless, jobless, probably found his clothes in a dumpster or at best an "Out of the Closet" charity thrift shop. He can't afford a cell phone, but he wants to look like everyone else so bad, he carries around an empty cell phone case.

This seems like a pretty good example of how society programs us all to believe that status symbols are important, and that even if we don't have the means to obtain them, at least the trappings are better than nothing. Now, I like a cool gadget, but I don't believe I like a cool gadget because of the "status." Hell, I don't own a car and take the bus around Los Angeles. It's pretty obvious I don't give a crap about status.

Still, I'm glad I have a job, a home and something to put inside my cell phone case.